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The Social Animal

借这本书,是想自我提升,然而故事的主角虽然一开始是普通人,最后却跃升成为白宫的智脑团,也许平凡的生活太波澜不惊让想象力发达的作者也难以描述和加以超越。

摘抄了几段作为读书笔记。

People tend to choose spouses of similar intelligence, and the easiest way to measure someone else’s intelligence is through their vocabulary. People with an 80 IQ will know words such as ‘fabric,’ ‘enormous,’ and ‘conceal’ but not words such as ‘sentence,’ ‘consume,’ and ‘commerce.’ People with 90 IQs will know the latter three words, but probably not ‘designate,’ ‘ponder,’ or ‘reluctant.’ So people who are getting to know each other subconsciously measure to see if their vocabularies mesh, and they adapt to the other person’s level.
美剧里的科学怪人时不时会引用圣经章节或是名人名言,大概也就是为了衬托出他们的智力超群。不了解“错彩镂金”,“滥觞”我觉得无伤大碍,但是当成年人问“美人迟暮”,问“在野党”的时候,我还真是大吃一惊。然后有一天,一文科硕士生跟我说这性别不是挺明显的么?他名字里有“坤”啊~~~,顿时千万个草泥马在心里奔腾而过。

Baby has all the physical features that naturally attract a mother’s love; big eyes, a large forehead, a small mouth and chin. These features arouse deep responses in all humans, whether they are on babies or Mickey Mouse or E.T.
东亚电视剧里女性形象总是睁大眼噘着嘴一脸可爱相,这那里是蠢萌?是在利用进化论知识来迷惑‘敌人’。

Parents have to provide their kids with stable and predictable rhythms. They need to be able to fall in tune with their kids’ needs, combining warmth and discipline. They need to establish the secure emotional bonds that kids can fall back upon in the face of stress. They need to be there to provide living examples of how to cope with the problems of the world so that their child can develop unconscious models in their heads. ‘All of us, from cradle to grave, are happiest when life is organized as a series of excursions, long or short, from the secure base provided by our attachment figures.

If you can surround a person with a new culture, a different web of relationships, then they will absorb new habits of thoughts and behaviours in ways you will never be able to measure or understand. And if you do surround that person with a new, enriching culture, then you had better keep surrounding them with it because if they slip back into a different culture, then most of the gains will fade away.
觉得自己就是这类人,哪怕是做最底层的工作我也绝不会脱颖而出,然而即便跻身于世界500强也绝不会落于人下。自控力不强,自我意识不敏锐的人,若要上进还是应该学习孟母三迁。

The Academy started from the ground up. It taught its students to look at someone who was talking to them, how to sit up in class, how to nod to signal agreement, how to shake hands and say hello on first meeting. They spent the first weeks of school to learn how to walk down the hall, how to carry their books, how to say ‘Excuse me’. If they did the small stuff right, the big stuff would be much easier to master latter on. Middle-class kids may have learned these lessons automatically, but poor kids had to be taught.
This learning-to-see model emphasizes the power of community to shape character. It’s very hard to build self-control alone. It also emphasizes the power of small and repetitive action to rewire the fundamental mechanisms of the brain. Small habits and proper etiquette reinforce certain positive ways of seeing the world. Good behaviour strengthens certain networks.
书中的女主角很push,这不是我欣赏的人格。然而要上一个阶层一个台阶,人一定要有一份不肯甘心的倔强。女主角就这样进了这所好学校(Academy)。Christine说上中学时,吃饭前都要检查双手,然后腰板挺直地坐下,双手得放在膝盖上,不能交头接耳。她说也就是那几年的熏陶让她在后来和英女王见面时能有礼有节。我上小学时也有一套规范,譬如上课时腰板坐正双手放在背后,遇见师长要立即起立并说‘老师好’。然后因为这是‘束缚思想’很快都废除了。那时被解放的双手可以在桌上写写画画,可快活惬意着呢,现在回想却也有一点遗憾。譬如,在走道、在电梯偶遇领导我不知道该如何大大方方地打招呼。

The country of my childhood lives within me with a primacy that is a form of love. It has fed me language, perceptions, sounds, the human kind. It has given me colours and the furrows of reality, my first loves. The absoluteness of those loves can never be recaptured. No geometry of the landscape, no haze in the air, will live in us as intensely as the landscapes that we saw as the first, and to which we gave ourselves wholly, without reservation.

A university gives student a chance to be around affluent people and to see how they behaved with one another. She learns how they socialized, how they greeted each other. At there, student acquires ‘cultural capital’ – the tastes, opinions, cultural references, and conversational styles that will enable you to rise in polite society. The rich kids has been to China and spent a summer in high school teaching kids in Haiti. They know who Lauren Bacall was, and where F. Scott Fitzgerald went to school. They seemed to get every reference the professors threw out. They knew how to structure papers in ways that she had never been taught. She took a look at those kids and thought about her friends back in the neighbourhood who were still working at the mall or hanging out on the street. Her friends back home were forever behind.
和书中女主角不同,我想现代的平常人可以借助网络了解外面的贵族的世界。只是不是所有人拥有自我探索和实践的能力,需要有良师的引领和指点。

Cultures do not exist as simply static differences, to be celebrated. They compete with one another as better and worse ways of getting things done – better and worse, not from the standpoint of some observer, but from the standpoint of the peoples themselves, as they cope and aspire amid the gritty realities of life.

Wisdom doesn’t consist of knowing specific facts or processing knowledge of a field. It consists of knowing how to treat knowledge: being confident but not too confident; adventurous but grounded. It is a willingness to confront counterevidence and to have a feel for the vast spaces beyond what’s known.

Everyday life is structured by tiny rules of etiquette, women generally leave the elevator first. The fork goes on the left. These politeness rules may seem trivial, but they nudge us to practice little acts of self-control. They rewire and strengthen networks in the brain.
The first generation of human-capital policies gave people access to schools, colleges, and training facilities. Second-generation policies would have to help them develop the habits, knowledge, and mental traits they needed to succeed there. Second-generation human-capital policies have to pay attention to the hidden curriculum of life as much as to the overt one.
作者认为穷人和富人的差距不是在金钱而是对生活的态度。穷人把生活看作是一日三餐不吃不行,而富人把生活看作是一种习惯一种锻造。

At first, she had been anxious and self-conscious when chatting with global celebrities. But the awe fell away pretty quickly, and now it was just like the same old knitting circle gathered once again at a different world resort.
我猜想正确,其实贵族圈也就这个样。

After a life-time spent preparing for things and building for things, he was finally free from the burden of the future. How pleasant is the day, when we give up striving to be young- or slender.
爸爸妈妈都嗜糖,现在我很少会去宣传糖尿病,因为他们 finally free from the burden of the future,享受每日每刻才是他们的人生目标。有些伤感,可这就是人生吧。

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